It was a beautiful sunny September day, I was at work extra early as usual. I put the still warm muffins I made, on to the lunchroom table and started a pot of coffee, I spoiled the employees but it was worth it, they were a great bunch. The sales manager came in, we chatted, she poured herself a coffee and turned on the lunchroom tv. The buzzer went in the warehouse - a courier, I went back to give my signature for the delivery. After I signed my name I made my way back to the lunch room, the at this time, the warehouse was only lit by the sun beams shining through the windows of the heavy metal doors. The lunchroom was bright, flouresent lights buzzing and I could see her. Karen, our sales manager standing, staring, mouth wide open and coffee mug barely in her hand, ready to spill..... I wondered what was so mesmerizing on CNN, what had her so engrossed that she was ready to spill coffee on her new Nine West shoes.
As I made my way closer to the light I could hear screaming and sirens and chaos coming from the tv.
What? A plane flew into the World Trade Centre? How is that possible?
Then.... another plane, live on tv, right before my very eyes!
My tears started immediately, my eyes were seeing it but my brain wasn't registering it or refused to register the raw footage I was seeing.
My lips were moving but nothing was coming out, I just couldn't compute such terror, such real life, horrific scenes. I just stood there shaking my head, fingertips to my lips, tears streaming down my cheeks.
How can this be?
We stood there speechless for about an hour, eyes glued to CNN, employees arriving one by one, "omg did you hear....." only to stop dead in their tracks and watch the television with us. Most of them had heard the news on the radio during the commute to work but once you see it over and over again, the same scene in slow motion...it hits, hits your heart hard.
We opened the store, it was a large furniture showroom. I felt weak as I pushed open the metal gates and unlocked the doors. The sales associates turned on the tvs in the showroom, no one was talking much.
More terror, the pentagon, the death, the destruction, the collapse, It went
on and on all day. Bloodied survivors fleeing, ash covered rescue workers, jumpers, screamers, fires, explosions it was all unreal and I was numb and it was like witnessing a bad dream.
The day went on...our eyes glued to the tv as much as possible, it really was hard to function that day. Customers came in to the store shopping for a new sofa, others needing a mattress, it was all surreal. Don't they realize that the worlds strongest nation was just attacked? I had so many emotions, we all did.
At one time our customer service rep was on the phone with a customer complaining that their deliver was running late. The customer screaming on the phone (yes people are like that) I could hear it standing 2 feet away.
Finally our rep said "there are more important things happening in the world today than your stupid delivery running late!" and slammed down the phone and burst into tears. "Am I fired?" he said. "No" I replied, he has just said what I wanted to say to every person that called that day and to every person that walked into our store. We were all on an emotional overload. here we are, small town Ontario Canada and feeling this way,
imagine being an American, imagine being in New York or near any of the tragedy the occurred. Imagine having family suffer, perish or survive> Imagine the rescue workers, the thoughts going through their heads, their families knowing what their loved ones are walking in to. Unreal,,,unreal.
The day was emotional and exhausting and was told over and over again in the news for weeks. I felt helpless but hopeful. I knew that whatever had happened the American citizens could rebuid, would survive and live on.
It was like looking up to a wounded big brother, you know they have the strength and courage to carry on - and that they did.
"In the ruins of two towers, at the western wall of the Pentagon, on a field in Pennsylvania, this Nation made a pledge, and we renew that pledge tonight: Whatever the duration of this struggle, and whatever the difficulties, we will not permit the triumph of violence in the affairs of men—free people will set the course of history." - President George W. Bush. January 29, 2003